The forecast calls for a beautiful day for football heading into the NCAAF Purdue at Illinois betting matchup. Temps are in the 60s, but Lovie Smith hopes the 17 MPH wind picks up even more the way his secondary was torched in a 45-7 loss to Wisconsin last week. The Boilermakers are trying prove that their win over Iowa in the opener was no fluke.
Oddsmakers were clearly not impressed by the Fighting Illini last week, making them +7.5 home underdogs on Saturday afternoon (12:00 PM EST, BTN). 59% of the betting public still likes Purdue on the road, and the Boilermakers did look impressive in a 24-20 win over Iowa as +3 underdogs. That was in West Lafayette though, how will Purdue do going on the road for the first time?
Purdue Getting Their Coach Back?
The Boilermakers were able to get a TD pass with a bit over 2:00 left last week to take the lead for good in the 4-point win over Iowa. Not only was Purdue a home underdog in that tilt, they got the win despite being without head coach Jeff Brohm, who watched the game at home after a positive COVID test.
Star WR Rondale Moore (undisclosed) is still out for NCAAF Purdue at Illinois betting, but Brohm will be back with the team. The coach helped the Boilermakers offense rank 12th in the nation in pass yards/game last season, and he’s licking his chops at the chance to face the Illinois secondary. The Fighting Illini were torched by a redshirt freshman making his first career start, as Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz was 20/21 for 248 yards and 5 TD last week.
Purdue was actually outgained by Iowa a week ago, and their defense allowed just under 200 yards rushing to the Hawkeyes. Illinois will run the read option, but aside from their QB the Fighting Illini managed only 57 yards on the ground last game, albeit against a very good Wisconsin defense.
Illinois Faced a Test Last Week
The Fighting Illini getting roughed up last week wasn’t that shocking, considering Wisconsin was out for revenge after last season’s upset. The Illinois secondary forcing just one incompletion against a QB making his first start is concerning however. Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell threw the ball 50 times against Iowa, and RB Zander Horvath added another 129 yards on the ground.
Purdue looks to bring a balanced offense into Saturday’s game, but Illinois showed little-to-know offense against the Badgers. Once again, that is a UW team that was 8th in the country in total defense a year ago, but Illini QB Brandon Peters managed to go 8/19 for 89 yards. Peters did add 75 yards on the ground, and Iowa did have a successful running day vs. the Boilermakers last week so there may be some rushing opportunities here.
NCAAF Purdue at Illinois Betting Free Pick
Purdue dominated 46-7 in their last trip to Champaign, but Illinois actually tallied the 24-6 win last season in West Lafayette. The Fighting Illini have a lot of veterans on their team, and it’s hard to take much from last week’s game against a very good Badgers squad.
Purdue gets a boost with Brohm back on the sidelines, but expect Smith to make a lot of adjustments in his secondary.
Illinois 27 – Purdue 23
Free Pick: Illinois +7.5